The obligation of the media is to represent the people by serving as its watchdog over government. The bedrock of democracy is an educated, knowledgeable populace. As such, free press informs the public, holds leaders accountable, and provides a forum for debate of local and national issues. Freedom of the press is therefore a non-negotiable, fundamental prerequisite for a functional democracy. But since 2000, in the most secretive, media-hostile administration in our nation's history, the mainstream media has been neutered like a six-month old Labrador. It's allowed the Busheviks to rape the constitution with impunity, making a mockery of our sacred rule of law and turning the United States into a near Monarchy. As anyone who watches a White House press conference can attest to, the press fears speaking out against Bush, who has gotten a free pass for six years now despite having a presidency wrought with lies, corruption and miserable failure. And it's Americans who suffer as a result. If not for the advent of blogging and the power of 'netroots reporting, Bush would truly be king, and our citizenry would be completely ignorant of the truth.
If the press wanted to do its job it has plenty to work with, chiefly: (1) the failure of the Iraq war and the deception it was built on; (2) the colossal distraction of Iraq on the war against Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and terrorism worldwide; (3) unprecedented criminal behavior by the president, his cabinet and several GOP leaders (CIA leak, illegal wiretappings, US attorney firings, etc). Why on Earth then is Bush continually allowed to duck the hotseat, like he was at a recent press conference when he blew off repeated questions about the Valerie Plame scandal with four "Pete, ain't gonna discuss that" deflections? Whatever happened to the media grabbing its nuts and demanding, "No, Mr. President, that is unacceptable from the President of the United States in times of crisis. The American people demand to know what your personal involvement was in this scandal." What the hell's going on in that White House Press Room these days? Bush says "I ain't gonna talk" and the media shoves its collective tail between its legs? How about embarrassing him to the point of capitulation. Or at least to the point of causing severe political damage to him and his party. Just what is the press so afraid of? Perhaps, as Dan Rather suggested last week on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, they're just too darned cushy with the Bushies and don't want to lose their coveted access and dinner invites.
Back in the 90's, the Repugs crucified Bill Clinton for lying under oath. To this day, they still refer to this "lying under oath" as the foundation of their legal and moral justification for Bubba's impeachment. Yet these hypocrites all refuse to testify to anything under oath--be it to the 911 Commission or to the Judiciary Committee regarding the current attorney firings scandal--because they know damn well just how much they're guilty of lies, deception and treason.
To the U.S. mainstream free press, wake up and do your job already and stop letting this president and his crooked cohorts walk all over you.
On another subject......we could use your help at The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. As you may know, Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmkaing lives on. We've finalized a scholarship with NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; and grants with Columbia University, American Film Institute, NY Women in Film and Television, and the Independent Feature Project. Other initiatives will follow. Please visit our website to learn more about our mission and to make a donation. Every little contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, and to help create something positive out of this horrible tragedy. Thank you.
Adrienne's film "Waitress" will hit theatres May 2nd. Early reviews have been terrific. A link to the trailer is below. Enjoy.